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Social Anthropology: Research


Alchemists of the Revolution?

The Politics of Educated Unemployed Youth

Jonathan Spencer


Rising schooling and a shortage of salaried jobs has created a crisis of educated unemployment in the global South. But we know very little about what educated unemployed youth are doing. This project brings together Professor Craig Jeffrey and Dr Jane Dyson, Professor David Gellner and Dr Amanda Snellinger, and Professor Jonathan Spencer and Dr Dhana Hughes to conduct detailed ethnographic research in three areas of South Asia (India, Nepal and Sri Lanka) with a view to understanding educated unemployed young people's political practices. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) are funding this research, which runs from 2012-2016. From a scholarly perspective, we hope to use youth as a lens through which to understand the changing nature of work, education, politics and civil society around the world. We are also centrally interested in enhancing public understanding of young people: Marginalized youth are often imagined as "anomic"; but they may also be involved in forms of "positive youth politics" in different parts of South Asia and the world.


More information at

Freshers 2013